The mission of Naval Station Great Lakes is to send highly skilled, disciplined Sailors into the US Navy Fleet. NS Great Lakes delivers 37,000 trained Sailors annually.
Great Lakes is home to the Navy’s only Recruit Training Command, and supports 6 other learning sites.
Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs are provided by the Fleet Readiness Division on base.
Activities include: sports, fitness, movies, libraries, bowling, golfing, marinas, outdoor recreation, and liberty programs. There is also plenty do do in the surrounding areas of NS Great Lakes.
Check out Six Flags in Gurnee, Illinois, which is about 5 miles away. Families will enjoy the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago, 13 miles away from base. About 3 miles away, there is the The People’s Choice Family Fun Center which has mini golf, an arcade, and a food court. There are also several movie theaters in the area. The city of Chicago is also just one hour away. Also nearby is the Great Lakes Museum and the Civil War and Museum of Science & Industry.
Military dependents attend Forrestal Elementary School. Middle school dependents attend Novak-King for 6th Grade and Neal Math & Science Academy for 7th and 8th grade. The high school is North Chicago Community High School. College level classes can be taken at the Navy College Learning Center, located in building 617. Courses are free for active duty, dependents, and retirees. Students seeking a graduate degree can attend Webster University in the evenings, on base. Also on base is the College of Lake County, which offers associate’s degree programs.
Healthcare is provided by Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes, which has merged with the North Chicago VA, and is now called the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. The center is located directly west of NS Great Lakes, on Green Bay Road. Services provided are ambulatory, diagnostics, dental care, geriatrics, internal medicine, pain management, rehabilitative services, and long term health care.
Naval Station Great Lakes has several on base communities to choose from, such as the Forrestal Village, which has over 800 homes, and has a Family Welcome Center, gas station, auto hobby center,access to child care, MWR Youth Center, Forrestal Village Elementary School, a chapel, and playgrounds. Affordable temporary lodging is available at the Navy Lodge, which is 45 minutes from the Chicago O’Hara International Airport. Personnel can also choose to rent or buy off base, utilizing housing allowances.
Burkey Mall on base is the main shopping location. Here you will find the Commissary for grocery shopping and also the Navy Exchange. At the mall, you can purchase items such clothing, health and beauty needs, appliances, electronics, liquor, flowers, glasses, ice cream, and snacks. There is also a UPS and dry cleaning services.
Naval Station Great Lakes can be an excellent choice as a primary duty station. With access to schools, higher education options, shopping, and a wide range of attractions, NS Great Lakes is a great opportunity for a sailor attending boot camp in the short term, or as a long term choice for your primary duty station.